No Nukes News

December 4, 2009


“Fission energy is safe only if a number of critical devices work as they should, if a number of people in key positions follow all their instructions, if there is no sabotage, no hijacking of transports, if no reactor fuel processing plant or repository anywhere in the world is situated in a region of riots or guerrilla activity, and no revolution or war – even a “conventional” one – takes place in these regions. The enormous quantities of dangerous material must not get into the hands of ignorant people or desperados. No acts of God may be permitted.”

- Hannes Alfvén, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Ontario can shine in Copenhagen

Ontario’s coal phase-out is North America’s single largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative. But there’s no reason to wait till December 2014 to phase out coal. According to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario’s coal-free generation capacity is now 23% greater than Ontario’s forecast peak demand for electricity in 2010. [click here for more facts]   As a result, Premier McGuinty can achieve a virtually complete coal phase-out now, without jeopardizing our security of supply, by directing Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to put its dirty coal plants on standby reserve.  That is, only operate them if, due to an extreme event, they are necessary to keep the lights on.

1-Minute Action:  Contact Premier Dalton McGuinty at Tell him that there’s no reason to wait till December 2014 to phase out coal. Let’s go to Copenhagen with a message that something can be done about climate change right now! Direct OPG to put its dirty coal plants on standby reserve today.

OK so this isn’t about nukes, but it’s related! If you’re Canadian, please read it!


The Urgent Threat to World Peace is … Canada

The harm this country could do in the next two weeks will outweigh all the good it has done in a century.

By George Monbiot

How much would a nuclear meltdown cost?

The Harper government believes $650 million should cover it off, even in the event of a catastrophic, however improbable, accident at a nuclear plant such as the aging Pickering generating station.

In the United States, liability for nuclear accidents is set at $10 billion (U.S.), while in Japan the cap will be doubled next year to roughly $1.47 billion (Canadian). In Germany, there is no cap on nuclear liability but an operator must be able to cover at least $4 billion.

Join this google group and help make nuclear plants pay the true costs.

Taxpayers on the Hook for Nuclear Liability?

Nuclear Study Raises Estimates of Accident Tolls

The most detailed government study (1982) of potential consequences of accidents at atomic power plants has concluded that the worst-case death toll could exceed 100,000 persons and damages could top $300 billion at certain locations. For more info:

Nuclear fleet shows its age

A three-decade life extension might make economic sense, but is it too risky for residents?

… But risks related to safety are what most concern the former head of Canada's nuclear safety regulator. Linda Keen, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission between 2001 and 2007, told the Star during an exclusive series of interviews that the rate of population growth around Pickering isn't being taken seriously enough.

Radiation leakage in India nuclear power plant act of sabotage: official

The radiation leakage in a state-run nuclear power plant in southern India is an "act of sabotage" possibly by a disgruntled employee at the plant, India's Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar said on Sunday.

Water-cooler moment of horror as disgruntled worker poisons colleagues

Revived German movement protests nuclear energy

Chancellor Angela Merkel's support for nuclear power has sparked demonstrations.

The Coming Nuclear Crisis

The world is running out of uranium and nobody seems to have noticed.

Will Nuclear Power Blow Up Obama's Climate Goals for Copenhagen?

 "It's an incredible amount of expense to bring online and pour hundreds of billions into a slow industry that endangers the public with waste, radioactivity and chemical releases… Renewables and energy efficiency will be completely strangled by investing in nuclear power, and will eliminate those opportunities."

Canada, India reach nuclear deal

Ottawa and Delhi have concluded negotiations on a deal allowing Canadian companies to resume sales of uranium and nuclear technology to India for the first time since it used Canada’s know-how to develop warheads 35 years ago.

Australia, another major supplier of uranium, is resisting selling uranium to India unless it signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement, which is unlikely, given that both India and its rival Pakistan are nuclear powers.

Who Wants to Buy CANDU's Risky Business?

Canada is moving towards privatizing its federally owned reactor maker. Who might want in, and why?

Nuclear regulator's impartiality questioned

Nunavut group launches uranium mining petition

A new citizen's group in Nunavut wants the territorial government to hold a public inquiry into uranium exploration and mining.

Nunavut MLAs pressed for public inquiry on uranium mining

Solar panel costs 'set to fall'

The cost of installing and owning solar panels will fall even faster than expected according to new research.

The fall in cost is due to the increased lifetime, the institute says.

The Siamese Twins

Nuclear power and nuclear weapons are Siamese twins.  A nuclear reactor designed for electricity production or for use in research is fuelled by uranium. Its operation leaves spent fuel containing plutonium. This plutonium by-product can be recovered and used to make nuclear weapons.

A 1951 AEC study concluded that “commercial nuclear reactors would not be economically feasible if they were used solely to produce electricity; they would be, however, if they also produced plutonium which could be sold” for military purposes. “It was this fact which interested utilities in getting involved with nuclear reactors”…

As Helen Caldicott acidly notes: “Nuclear power plants are essentially atomic bomb factories.”   They offer the perfect cover. The nuclear technology associated with them, and their by-products can be diverted for use in nuclear weapons. 

For more on the connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons see:

Iraq Sees Alarming Rise In Cancers, Deformed Babies

The use of depleted uranium in U.S. and coalition weaponry in the 1991 war to liberate Kuwait and the 2003 Iraq invasion is well documented, but establishing a link between the radioactive metal and health problems among Iraqis is hard, officials say.

Depleted uranium, a dense metal, is used in weaponry to pierce heavy armour such as on tanks.

Exelon to Shut Down Four Power Units, Cut 280 Jobs

Exelon Corp., the biggest U.S. nuclear power producer, plans to retire four Pennsylvania generation units because they’re no longer profitable to operate amid shrinking electricity demand in the region.

Yucca Mountain Nuclear Disposal Site Is Dead

"The truth of the matter is, the world has passed by the idea of putting spent fuel rods -- as hot as they come out of the reactor -- underground in perpetuity."

Workers exposed to radiation at Shizuoka, Japan nuclear plant

Twenty-three people were exposed to radiation after radioactive water leaked from a waste solution system at a nuclear power plant in Omaezaki.

Nuclear Power: The Renaissance That Wasn't

The group Physicians for Social Responsibility has released a short timeline outlining the many failures, cancellations and setbacks for the supposed “renaissance” of nuclear power in 2009.

Who is the Nuclear Waste Management Organization?

Thanks to Gordon Edwards:

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization is wholly owned by the Canadian nuclear industry. Its Board of Directors consists of appointees from Ontario Power Generation, Hydro-Quebec, and  New Brunswick Power – the three utilities that produce almost all of Canada's high-level radioactive waste (otherwise known as irradiated fuel). Most of the Board members are executives of these utilities. 

For a critique of the NWMO approach, see

For more info: Sierra Club: 

Nuclear Waste Management Organization: 

20 Medical Doctors in Sept-Iles, Quebec have threatened to leave town unless the government of Quebec bans uranium mining in the area.

Sept-Îles sans URANIUM

Les Médecins ou le nucléaire?

Porte-parole de Sept-Îles sans URANIUM,

Climate News, Views and Action

Over the next three weeks you’ll be able to find the latest news on Copenhagen at the link below. We will be updating it constantly:

If you have not already looked at the growing Global Weekend of Action (December 11 to 14), please check out this page:

Scientists press PM on climate change